Sport Award Prizes Improve

Namibia’s top athletes will again be relatively handsomely rewarded at the annual national Sport Awards on 31 October.

However, the rewards could be better according to Sport Awards Committee chairperson Amos Shiyuka, who says that while they are grateful to the corporates that are supporting the event, the involvement of more companies would make the event more lucrative.

The event, jointly organised by headline sponsor MTC and the Namibia Sport Commission, has seen a steady rise in prize monies over the years, with the imminent edition set to be the most rewarding yet.

The 2014 sport awards are worth over N$1,2 million, a substantial amount in Namibian sporting circles.

“Without the support of the sponsors we have, we would not be able to improve the prize money for the athletes. They [sponsors] are investing in the development of sport in the country. For that we are grateful,” Shiyuka told reporters at a press briefing on Thursday.

“When we organise such events, we need to benchmark against what’s happening in the region with our neighbouring countries. All our neighbours are looking after their own,” he added. “They are rewarding and awarding their athletes what they deserve for representing their country. Thanks to Johanna Benson, we got to hear our national anthem play for the first time at an Olympic event. We would like to show our appreciation for such efforts by rewarding the athletes better. This can be achieved if more corporates come on board.”

Shiyuka, however, was critical of sport stars who misuse their winnings, saying it would be prudent to provide them with financial education in order to manage their winnings efficiently.

“While the prizes are not the biggest, we are worried about athletes squandering their prize money. We are looking at new ways to assist them to invest their money wisely. At the end of the day, we don’t want our athletes to struggle,” said Shiyuka.

DOUBLE REWARD

The additional contributions of Nampower, Coca-Cola, First National Bank, the Social Security Commission, Namibia Diamond Trading Company, Otb Sport and Namibia Wildlife Resorts have allowed the organisers to improve most of the prizes significantly.

The Sport Achiever award, which amounted to N$100 000, is now worth N$200 000, while the top sportsman and woman as well as disabled sportsman and woman awards are N$100 000 each, up from last year’s N$50 000 each.

The best junior athlete for both sexes and able bodied or disability sport will receive N$50 000, while the most improved athlete, the best coach, refereeumpire and administrator awards are all worth N$30 000.

The team of the year (N$70 000) and best media reporter (N$40 000) awards round of the categories on offer.

The ceremony, which will be staged at the Windhoek Country Club, is open to the public, who will have to purchase tickets at N$300 each, while corporate tables can be booked for N$10 000.

“This year we have a check list to help us make our jobs easier. We urge all the sport codes administrators to submit their nominations before the deadline [Tueday, 30 September], said judging panel member Lesley Tjiueza.

“They [administrators] owe it to the athletes to nominate the athletes.”

The awards ceremony will be staged at the Windhoek Country Club and is open to the public.

Source : The Namibian